Jon Montroll, the founder of two US based cryptocurrency trading platforms has pled guilty to allegations of security fraud that has seen Montroll deceive both investors and the authorities on multiple counts, allowing him to manipulate investigations into hacks that had taken place within his platforms.
According to CCN:
“Texan Jon Montroll aka ‘Ukyo’ admitted to deceiving investors and the SEC during the course of operating and the subsequent investigations into bitcoin exchange ‘WeExchange’ in Australia and securities investment platform BitFunder.”
By refusing to pass on vital information to the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding a hack at WeExchange and for actually being found to conceal the hack by manipulating the stock of coins within the exchange, suspicions led to a subsequent investigation that also saw Montroll illegally manipulating records of expenses for travel and food that in turn allowed him to steal Bitcoin from customers of his exchange.
Moreover, according to CCN:
“Montroll has pled guilty to one count of securities fraud and one count of obstruction of justice, each carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The actual duration of the sentence by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman will be revealed during an undetermined date in the future.”
District Judge Richard M. Berman added:
“As he admitted today, Jon Montroll deceived his investors and then attempted to deceive the SEC. He repeatedly lied during sworn testimony and misled SEC staff to avoid taking responsibility for the loss of thousands of his customers’ bitcoins.”
You can see the full report for yourself, here.
It is important that this sort of justice is served. Fraud is so rife within cryptocurrency and unfortunately, this is something that lends itself to decentralisation and anonymity. Sadly though, for as long as this sort of crime is able to continue, communities will still fear cryptocurrencies and therefore, a true worldwide adoption becomes impossible.
By exposing the crooks and by ensuring justice is served, groups like the SEC will be able to help foster a safer crypto-sphere that in turn will appear more attractive to the lay user. Once security is addressed, adoption will once again become a very real prospect, something that remains a bit of a dream for now.